Search for sponsors very early on, plan ahead, and be prepared for last minute changes and surprises. Double-checking every detail is very important, things easily gets lost or forgotten, make lists. Keep a dialogue with your sponsors and make sure to present them with a deadline for them to submit their promotional material, I would suggest having 2 reminders for them. We are currently working on the post-mortem, so we will have more to share with our team, and the future new members of the CFF.
Catering was good but the quantity was less than expected. We had chosen the caterer Avec Plaisirs because they are sustainable and environmentally conscious, however, the amount paid for the amount received was not what was expected. For future events, we will cater from the Hive, who we chose to cater our other event and believe to be a better fit in terms of quantity, sustainable choices and supporting our Concordia community. ASAC and CEED Concordia want to strive for a gender-balanced panel for our next conference. While all our speakers were amazing, we would have liked to have more female representatives on the panel. Although the panel discussion was really engaging, with the audience asking interesting questions and having a great dynamic between our speakers and participants, we would like to have more focused topic next time (i.e. African development and technology, African development and society etc.)
Our project was a resounding success but also came out of a lot of work, which in the end did become exhausting and this exhaustion can be frustrating. If you are a small team taking on a large project, find a way to budget in compensation for your own time – this is crucial and will help keep the project sustainable.
I experienced resistance from my peers when I planned to make my film shoot an eco-friendly and vegan event. I was determined and with the help of my crew, we succeeded in avoiding the massive amounts of waste and cheap processed food. The main lesson during this project was to learn to persevere and not be deterred by others.
The event was very popular, so much so that we had to turn people away at the door because most of our tickets had been sold in advance. In the future, it may be good to allocate a number of tickets to be sold at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. We faced some significant and unforeseen delays in promotions. It took quite a long time to finalize the poster for the event. In the future, we should find a way to streamline that process. The night of the event, there was a conflict amongst attendees regarding use of the “mens” washroom by people of all genders (as organizers, we learned about this after the event). In the future, it would be important to designate the washrooms as gender neutral.
I sent email to 65 designers and 8 academies of Montreal, and I was ready to meet all of them to have an accurate portrait of what it is happening currently in the textile designs sphere of Montreal. Even though I sent reminders, I found that only a small percentage of stakeholders answered positively for an interview meeting. My greatest disappointment was to not have an answer from quite a few academies, including the Textile Department of Concordia University.
As Arms, Hammers, Gears and Stars is part of a recurring project, the Cinema Politics screenings, little took place that was not planned ahead of time, and which we were not prepared to deal with. The result was a screening series that went very smoothly and without any problems. As always, the best lesson to keep in mind is to think outside of the box in order to make our events more appealing, and to contact any of the amazing on and off campus organizations for collaborations that could be beneficial for everyone.
When you organize an event or realize a project with another organization, you should be aware that communication is the key to succeed. You need to have a really good channel of communication between all the members of both organization in order to be on the same page. Furthermore, you have to apply for internal and external sponsorship at least three months before the event if you want to multiplicate the chances to receive sponsorship and to have enough time to develop a B plan if sponsor campaign doesn’t go as well as forecasted.
For the recycling and composting bins, you should draw or write clear information on cardboard, because it was not really clear for participants sometime and we cannot always have a volunteer to check everything participants throw in the bins.